So, you’ve reached a point where you’ve decided to become more “survival” conscious. You want to put yourself in a position where you can possibly survive the harsh elements of nature, and you’ve read that one element of survival comes in the form of an MRE. But what are they exactly, and how long do MRE meals last? You might even wonder what it tastes like?
If you want to have all these burning questions answered, just keep reading.
The Specifics Of MRE Meals
MRE meals were originally created as a way to keep soldiers fed while on the battlefield. They were introduced during the Second World War, and over the years, the “recipe” got better. MREs developed to have better-tasting meals in better packages, along with a longer shelf life.
The current packages issued by the US Military will always feature a balanced and nutritional balance of foods, snacks, and beverages. And yes, they taste a lot better than they did back in the 80s. The packaging has gone from a metal can to smartly layered pouches, and the options of what you can get have increased dramatically.
Basically, an MRE meal is already cooked, flavored, and ready to eat cold. Of course, you can heat the meal for added taste, but when you don’t have the means to do any cooking, an MRE can quickly fill you up.
How Long Do MRE Meals Last?
It’s obvious that MRE meals aren’t going to taste as good a fresh food, and this is mainly because these are meals meant mainly for survival. But it’s their lifespan that has everybody talking.
The amount of time you can store an MRE meal depends on several variables. These include the place where you store it and the temperature at which it is stored. When stored in a safe place with a consistent temperature of 80 degrees, you can expect the MRE to last at least 3 years.
But what if you store it at a different temperature, for example, in a colder place? If this is the case you can extend the use of the MRE to 5 years. In fact, there is a special chart available, created by the US Military, and it specifies how long an MRE will last when stored in certain conditions.
The big question is whether you can eat an MRE that’s been safely stored for 10 years? And what will happen to the taste and nutritional value over time?
There are people who have no problem making use of a 10-year-old MRE meal, but you should definitely expect a different taste and nutrition value. Also, some MRE meals simply won’t make it that long. These include things like cheese spread and juicy fruits.
As a tip, once you start stocking up on MRE meals, you want to pay attention to the dates they were manufactured. Every MRE should come with a clear date, which you can use to organize and stock in such a way that rotation doesn’t become a problem.
So, the better the conditions you are able to store the MRE meals in, the longer they are going to last.
The Difference Between Civilian And Military MREs
If the idea of storing up long-lasting and nutritional meals is stimulating your interest, then you need to know something about civilian and military issue MREs. Those from the military are not allowed to be sold. In other words, you need to get them without using your credit card.
Then, there are civilian MREs available. These are made open to the public, and they are not created by the military. Instead, they imitate the technology to bring you meals ready to eat right to your door.
Aren’t All MRE Meals The Same?
Unfortunately, not all civilian MREs are created equal. Some are going to taste better while others can be stored for longer periods. This means that you will have to do some testing before you stock up on a specific brand of MREs.
Keep in mind, if the situation calls for it and you have to survive on an instant meal, don’t you want it to taste better than cardboard? Take the time and personally test different MREs. From there you can make a list of your favorites and begin storing.
What About MRE Heaters?
If you prefer having heated food, heaters specifically for MRE meals can be purchased. As you can imagine, the heater is based on a simple chemical reaction, which can heat an entree in about 10 minutes. Even with the heater, the process is made to be simple and straightforward.
Do the taste testing, compare the shelf life of different civilian brands, and compare prices that are comfortable for you. And after you have all the information you need, you can start preparing for survival.
When you purchase MREs, you know that there is food inside of them. What you may not know is how are MRE meals made. There is a process that they must go through in order to ensure they will last for which can be several years. It is a process that was initially developed for the US military. Many people buy these today in order to have a backup supply of food in case there is ever a shortage. Some people will have as much as a month or two of MREs stocked up in their basement. Let’s go over what is in them, how these are made, and how to find the best ones that are currently being sold.
What Is Inside Of MREs?
These are unique meals that are prepared so that they can last for several years. They are no different from meals that you would typically eat. The primary difference is that certain preservatives are used, and they are packaged in a way that can keep them fresh for what could be two or more years. You are going to have a main course which could be chicken, steak, pork, and a variety of side dishes. There will often be a snack, crackers, bread, and there will be peanut butter or cheese that can be spread on them. Powdered beverages are also provided which may include a dairy shake, coffee, cocoa, or some type of an energy drink. To consume everything, there is typically a single plastic spoon, a beverage mixing bag, and a flameless ration heater. If there are accessories, this will include chewing gum, a matchbook, napkins, a moist towelette, and seasoning such as salt-and-pepper.
How Are These Prepared?
These are prepared by first cooking all of the food thoroughly. There is no need to cook it once it is out of the bag or pouch. The primary reasons for heating up the food include having a hot meal, what prior to distribution there is also a sterilization process. After the food has been sealed, and before it is package, the packages are going to be boiled. The boiling process usually takes about 45 minutes. That length of time is necessary to ensure that any bacteria that was in the food is effectively destroyed prior to selling it to consumers. Similar processes are used in order to seal everything up. It’s very similar to how canned food, or even food in glass jars, is preserved. Once it is opened, it is going to taste exactly as it did when it was prepared initially.
Where Can You Find These On Sale?
Most of these can be found online. You won’t have to worry about locating these companies as they are advertising all the time. The popularity of MREs, especially in the public sector, has been growing for over a decade. There are many radio shows and social media sites that promote the need for having at least a month of food stocked up in case of emergencies. Therefore, many companies such as XMRE or Eversafe, to meet the demand, have been developed to keep up with all of the orders.
How To Store MREs To Improve Shelf-life
As with any type of food that is canned, or sealed in a flexible container, they need to be stored at a cool temperature to improve shelf-life. That is why so many people are going to place these in a basement area, a location where the contents are going to be relatively cool. One of the warnings that is often given to military personnel stationed in the desert areas is that the MREs can go bad after a few months. At temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, 60 days is the maximum time to consume the food even though it is vacuum sealed.
What Type Of Food Is Included With MREs
The type of food that is used will include meat, vegetables, and a wide variety of different desserts. The shelf-life of the beverages is much longer because they typically come in a powdered format. They have even started making kosher MREs, those that are designed for people that follow specific religious practices. These changes have been relatively recent, designed to accommodate those that would also like to feed their family in case of emergencies that cannot eat certain types of meat or vegetables at certain times of the year.
One other concept to consider is that, if there is any leftover food, it should be refrigerated right away. The food inside will be bacteria free, but once it is open, and exposed to the air, the bacteria can then begin to move into the package. Most MREs come with a resealable package, and that makes it easy to keep everything fresh, even for a few more days. That is how are MRE meals made.
Most people prefer warm meals when they are in wet or cold conditions. In fact, a hot meal can help lift a soldier’s spirit. That is where meals ready to eat or MREs come in handy. MREs were first developed for the United States Military. The MREs come with a flameless heater to maintain the warmth of the meal in the middle of the battlefield. The flameless heater operates due to a simple chemical reaction in order to offer enough heat to warm the food on the battlefield. This article provides information on how do MRE meals really work.
MREs are a military food ration popular with a majority of soldiers in the US Military. Although MREs were originally developed for the Military, they have become popular with emergency management folks and preppers today. That is due to their high-calorie count and long shelf life. The meal is not bad tasting at all. That is why MREs are extremely popular with the military as well as folks involved in outdoor activities.
Nutrition of the soldier was an issue even during the first American Revolutionary War. In fact, nutrition has been a big issue since the first war fought by the American troops. Nutrition is considered one of the most important factors in the effectiveness of the warfighter. The first ration of the soldiers on the battlefield was hard bread, salted pork, and beer. MREs appeared on the scene in 1975. In fact, the MRE was superior in flavor and nutrition to their predecessors. MREs have come a long way from the 1970s and improved a lot today.
Chemical heating is the main theme behind MREs. In fact, chemical heating is nothing new. It is a quite widespread normal phenomenon. All of you have seen rust. Iron atoms combine with oxygen to create a reddish color compound known as iron oxide. Although this process is very slow, wet iron rusts faster. When iron is exposed to salt water, it even rusts faster. When iron is turned into rust, the oxidation process will generate heat. The rust forms very slowly under normal conditions and heat is usually unnoticed. The idea behind the flameless heater process is to use oxidation of a metal in order to generate heat to warm the meals. Magnesium rusts much faster than iron. Hence, magnesium metal is used during the flameless heater process. The flameless heater is made of magnesium and iron dust mixed with a little sea salt. These components are mixed in a thin flexible pad – which is similar to a playing card. You only have to add a little water to this mixture to activate it. The flameless heater will reach its boiling point within seconds when you add a little water. The steam and bubbles will start within seconds of adding the water. You should insert the heater and the meal pouch back into the box that the pouch came in to heat the meal. Dinner is served just ten minutes later.
US Military MRE menus have changed a lot during the past 25-30 years. There are many companies that manufacture MREs for the military as well as the civilian population. That is why you need to be extremely cautious when shopping for the best MRE products on the market. With a host of brands out there, you should be doing the research first when shopping for the best MRE products on the market. There are also vegetarian MREs for people who don’t want to buy meat products. There is a wide variety of MRE menus for you to choose from. The internet is a great place to do your research when choosing the best civilian MRE on the market.
You shouldn’t pay more than $45-60 per case of quality MREs. There are many places to shop for high-quality MRE products. If you know someone active in the military, you can easily get a quality MRE from them. In fact, full-time and part-time military personnel get MREs during their field exercises and training. The Army Surplus Stores is a great place to shop for quality MRE products. If you have been to local gun shows, you can easily find MREs for sale there. On the other hand, there are many retail stores and online e-commerce stores that sell MREs, such as us. eBay is one of the most reliable places to shop online for MREs. You will find a host of MRE brands listed on eBay. Make sure you do the research before buying the right product on the market.
In conclusion, meals ready to eat or MREs are popular in the military as well as among the civilian population. They are quite nutritious and come with a long shelf life. The above article provides information on how do MRE meals really work.
Preparing for a disaster often means ensuring you will have a stable supply of food. This is going to mean that you are going to look at some of the MRE meals that you can buy on the open market. The problem is they can be expensive at times and this often leaves you wondering why does something that carries all the nutrition you need and a drink cost so much money. After all, it is just food that you are going to be getting here and it is not like you are going to a Michelin rated restaurant. We thought the same thing and decided it was time to explore why this is holding true, even in the modern world where everything you buy seems to be so cheap.
Quality Of The Ingredients
Yes, the food you are getting is going to come from quality ingredients. While you may not think about this, you need to realize the quality of the ingredients is quite high. So you do not have to be concerned about what you are eating not providing you with a well-rounded meal. Instead, you will find the ingredients are typically the freshest you can find on the market and they are not going to skimp on them either.
The reason the ingredients have to be fresh and good quality is so they can last. Yes, some of the older meals used to use seconds from the fruits, but this is not the case all the time anymore. In fact, the meals that were using seconds tended not to provide the same type of nutritional content over time and this meant that people were not getting everything they needed to have from the meals and could be seen as being nutrient deficient.
Different Meal Selections
While you may think that all you are going to get is some dried up beef with instant potatoes this is not the case anymore. In fact, a lot of these meals are going to have a variety of options for you to select from. So you do not have to be concerned about getting the same meal each time. However, what else is really nice about this product is the fact the meals are going to have a good taste as well. So you are no longer going to have to have a meal that tastes like cardboard or even worse taste like what you left behind in the toilet that morning.
Taste Profile Is Amazing
If you have been in the military before you may think these are the best meal going because that is all you had out on the front. However, that is because you only had these to eat and it really was not going to be what you wanted to have. However, what you need to realize is the fact these meals have started to develop an amazing taste profile. This profile is going to be something that will make your taste buds want to have more of the meal each time, but also going to guarantee your taste buds are going to enjoy the food. Instead, of the older meals that you were getting that you could barely chew and would want to get back to the dirt right away because it had a tendency to taste better.
Ease Of Making These Meals
Yes, the ease of making these meals is one of the factors that has led to them going up in price. While it may seem like it would be going to take the price down, it actually takes the price up quite a bit. So you will have to be concerned about the meals price being impacted by the ease of making the meals. You have to realize it takes a lot of work to get the meals to the point they are easily prepared and this is what makes the meals more expensive than what you would imagine.
Being able to survive a disaster can be a good thing. However, what you need to realize is one of the key things that will fall by the wayside is the cost of the food once a disaster has struck. This is when you should know why the MRE meals cost so much money. By knowing about why these cost so much money you will not mind getting them, but also know the price is what you are paying for in return for a good quality product. Then you can have a meal that you are going to have a chance to enjoy and know it is going to provide you with the nutrition that a completely balanced meal will provide you. However, you will also know this is not going to take a lot of time to complete the prep work for.
Ever wondered why the military personnel carries the MRE meals to combat? The simple answer is that, it is relatively more comfortable to move, and this is possible based on the lightweight packaging to it. They are mainly carried during combat for the simple reason of unavailability of organized food facilities. MREs, which are also known as Meal, Ready-to-Eat are often kept cool, this is because they don’t particularly need to be refrigerated. This then begs the question of what the meals are made of.
Starting with the primary requirements of each MRE meal, we see that each meal ought to have the capability of providing about 1200 calories. The maximum amount of time the MRE meals can go, is approximately 21 days, with an assumption in play being that the available logistics units can avail fresh food rations by then. The meal stands at a minimum shelf life of about three to five years, and this mainly depends on the storage conditions.
The packaging requirements for the MRE meals are stringent, and the meals have to ensure they withstand both the parachute and non-parachute drops. The packaging should hold the minimum shelf life of three and a half years, and this should be at 27 degrees Celsius, nine months should be wholly at 38 degrees, with the shorter period holding from around -51 degrees to 49 degrees, there should be an assured state that this is sustainable.
Other new forms of packaging might also be put into considerations for the primary purposes of the meal. The MRE is a complete set of self-contained meals, and this is why the packaging is made in such a way that it can be able to withstand rough conditions and also the exposure to individual elements. The MRE bag primarily contains the entrée accompanied with different varieties of both food and drink items.
The MRE bags come fully packaged in cases that each contain 12 meals. Available in about 24 menus which are of a variety of meals. The lists that hold the numbers 1-12 are packaged in a designated case A, with the menus 12-24 being wrapped in the next case B. The components of each meal is found in the MRE listings of their different lists.
However, these menus are changed by the military on a yearly basis, so the chances of getting to experience the same cuisine in the next year are often rare. The general MRE meal contains the following:
- This is the main course, and it includes foods such as beef stew and spaghetti
- The side dish meals include mashed potatoes, corn and also rice
Cracker or Bread
- This is inclusive of jelly, cheese spread, and even peanut butter
- The cookies and cakes included
- M&Ms, Tootsie rolls and also skittles
- Coffee, cocoa, dairy shakes, tea and also Gatorade-like drink mixes
Hot sauce or seasoning
Flameless Ration Heater
Accessories such as the spoons, sugar, creamer, toilet paper, matches and salt
Each MRE meal can provide to over an average of 1250 calories, which when broken down consists of 13% calories, 51% carbohydrates and 36% fat, included is the 1/3 of the recommended daily allowance of the provided vitamins.
The MRE meals as predicted are ready to eat meals, what this means is that every food can be consumed without heating or cooking it, the beverages are however much better with water added to them. The entrees and the side dishes can be eaten cold, although the fact that they taste better when they are heated up.
The MRE meals weigh about 510-740g, and this mainly depends on the menu. The MRE contain water, and because of this factor, they weigh more than the freeze-dried meals which include the same amounts of calories.
Despite the meals being used mostly in the military, it is also made up of a wrong side, which interferes with the lifespan of the food. This is mainly seen with the hotter it gets, the faster the subsequent shelf life of the MRE meal deteriorates, what this does, is that it makes the meal an inferior choice for the vehicular storage. This is where the temperature extremes are a provided fact of life.
High temperature plays havoc to the structure and makeup of the meals, and this makes the MRE meals not entirely suitable for the issue of vehicle emergency kits, this being one of the main reasons people get to purchase the MRE meals. The freezing process can also damage the makeup of the MRE meal. However, this is not particularly true for the freeze dried food, where cold is no issue. Freezing can make the packaging of the MRE meal to delaminate, and what this does is wholly affecting the edibility of the foods contained in the meal packages.
Many people are very curious about MRE meals, such as one from our MRE Giant store, and what they are all about. Are they healthy, how do you heat them up and where to get them? For those of you who do not know, MRE stands for meals ready to eat. Anyone who has been in the military is perfectly aware of what an MRE is, but they are used for more than just that purpose.
Meals Ready to Eat or MRE as they are known in military circles were created by the U.S. military to give our service men and women special meals, side offerings, and even snacks. All meals are created to supply our military personnel with all the healthy nutrients they need to survive while still being simple to carry especially while on the move.
Since MREs come ready to eat, they are can be used for many different situations aside from just the military. Ideal situations include camping, backpacking, 3-day kits, and during emergencies. The good thing about MRE meals is that they can be eaten cold or straight from the package. Additionally, these meals can be heated up in a microwave or a camp stove and with an MRE heater. There are also other various methods for heating them up too.
Most companies that sell MREs have a variety of selections to choose from that appeal to almost any palate. You have plenty of entrees to choose from along with drinks, snacks, and even desserts! You can purchase individual meals or by the case load. It all depends on the situation, how many you plan on feeding and storage. Each company has different selections as to the types of foods offered, so be sure to check around to find what you prefer.
All the companies that sell MREs have additional products such as heaters, emergency gear, emergency kits and storage advice. It is important to be prepared with all the right supplies because you never know when an emergency might strike. If you lose power for days or weeks due to a natural disaster, an MRE is an ideal solution that will help you cope during this stressful time.
MREs were developed not just to be any type of meal, but one that adds nutrition and taste. It would be no good if the meals were not tasty, which is why the military came up with the idea to include many options. These meals ready to eat come packaged in functional containers that are easy to store and include such items as a variety of meats, vegetables, dairy products, and fruits.
Expect the food to come packaged in a dehydrated form or freeze-dried making them especially easy to prepare even for an emergency situation. All one must do is add water then let it sit for 10 minutes before it is ready to eat. These types of meals are simple to store and make an excellent addition to any type of emergency kit, even one in your vehicle! A great thing to note about these types of meals is that they offer an extended shelf life so you don’t have to worry whether or not they are safe to eat. It was designed to be a long-term survival option, so keep that in mind if you think you’re purchasing too much.
Just looking over the different meal selections reveals some very tasty selections that include salmon, spaghetti and meatballs along with breakfast such as bacon and eggs! Most MRE packets include seasonings so your food isn’t bland but rather very tasty indeed! For those of you requiring special dietary needs or kosher-style meals, there are many options available. All you need to do is contact the company to discuss your needs and they will recommend a package that is tailored specifically to you.
Go online and search the different companies who make the MREs to see which ones offer the best products. Since these types of meals can be expensive it is best to shop around. All companies have different food options so you may prefer one over the other. Also, good customer service is very important especially if you aren’t familiar with these types of meals. You want to be able to ask lots of questions and understand what is needed to ensure that the meals are prepared properly. Although it is easy to do, you may still have some questions on some specific products.
If you read online reviews it is a great way to find quality MREs that everyone enjoys. Reading reviews helps you determine how good the meals are and whether or not they are worth purchasing. You also want to know whether or not they lasted as long as they claim. Plus you can get some great tips from military personnel about how best to heat up your MREs and where to store them.
Learning about MREs can be very valuable because at some point in our lives we may be in an emergency situation where you wish you had them available. Now that you read this article, it may spur you to go out and get these fantastic emergency meals!
LRP is a Long Range Patrol that is another variant of MRE meals. This meal has different accessory packs. This meal is specially designed for the military troops who do not receive long-term resupplies of the food. For this particular meal, the weight is a critical factor. It does not require any preparations for eating. It can be quickly consumed during the combat.
TOTM variant of the MRE
TOTM is the tailored operational training meal. It is also a variant of the MRE meal. The calorie count of this particular meal is low and is used for the rangers who are in an environment where less intensive training is done. Therefore, the calorie count of the meal is 997 calories on average.
The meal is so uniquely designed that it is an upgraded version of the military MRE and the content is almost the same. Therefore, the soldiers training in a classroom can directly experience an MRE with low calories.
There is a total of 36 distinct meals, and they are made by combining 12 menus of three separate lists. Each case has a total of 12 different meals that are assorted. Almost all the TOTM are weighed 20lbs, and the volume is 0.95 feet cubed. The shelf life for this particular meal is shorter compared to the traditional MRE meal.
UGR – Utilized Group Ration variant of MRE Meals
UGR is the utilized group ration that is also a variant of the MRE. This ration has been designed to feed a larger troop than an individual soldier for 21 days. The ration is sealed in metal trays that are eaten after the heating process. The food is already cooked but just needs to be heated.
Sometimes the pilots in the aircraft and the soldiers require some hands-on ration for carrying along themselves, in emergencies. This ration is small in size, weighs less and is portable. They can all be fitted inside lifeboats in the storage areas.
Refugees, service members, and soldiers
All of these are the different variants of the MRE available for sale that has been updated and researched upon to meet the hunger requirements of the various soldiers, service members and refugees. To ensure that all the rangers get the maximum nutrition to perform well in the combat research has been done on every single MRE meal so that they get the most out of it.
The weights, nutritional values along with the religious background have been keenly kept in mind before the meals are made ready for shipping or drop to the warriors in combat.
MREs as an emergency food that can be eaten without cooking
This is an emergency food for not only soldiers. No preparation for such foods is required therefore they can be used anywhere. So suppose whether you are running for driving a truck or you are living in the tent as a refugee, the preparation of this food is easy and can be ready under five minutes. You just need to open the lid, add some water, sealed the top and eat from the package.
Camping is one of the most the fun-filled recreational activities that will keep you on the toes. Camping is one of the most pleasurable ways to get over the stress of everyday life. But that is not possible to enjoy without great meals. And to help you we bring you some novel ideas that will help you tantalize your taste buds even in the wild. Nowadays anyone can easily find camping meals both online and in the supermarket. There is no need to eat food just for relinquishing your hunger, but now you can enjoy food rather as a delicacy.
There is a different kind of camping, therefore, and it becomes necessary to choose the one which you like. There is a need to keep certain details in mind. Therefore, it is important to take necessary thing for camping in order to enjoy camping without any glitch.
Few tips for camping
- Depending upon the nature of your camping, one has to pick stuff for example if you are going in the wilderness, then it is important to take mosquito replant with you.
- It is advisable to find a place to hook your camp before the sunset. Otherwise, it will become difficult to find a safe and secure location after the sunset.
- Don’t forget to carry your sleeping bag in order to have good night’s sleep.
- It is advised to clean the area where you stay clean.
- If you are camping for the first time then it advisable to follow the person who is head of the camp otherwise you might get lost in the wilderness.
- Keep a survival kit ready as this will help you if needed.
Next thing that instantly comes to mind is food, here we got a few tips for some easy camping meals.
One pot meals: yes why to use many different utensils, one-pot dishes are easy to make and at the same time its taste great. It is easy to make, and you can have great food in a second.
Carry hassle-free food: as this will help get rid of hunger pangs, a good example is meals from Omeals. Omeals meals come with the convenient self-heated system, so there are no needs to have a fire, and yet you can get hot meals.
When you get right down to it, there are several reasons to buy meals ready to eat. Whether you’re camping out in the wilderness or stocking up a survival shelter, MREs are the way to go.
Many people will argue that canned goods are better. The idea is that they’re more stable, offer more variety, and you can depend on them to be high quality for longer.
Some of that may have been true for one reason or another, but these days MREs trump any other form of preserved food. Once you know a little more about MREs and how they work, the reasons to buy them will become clear.
How Long Do MREs Last?
The chemical engineering behind the average MRE is intended for the food to be stored and last as long as possible. This is no different from canning or sou vide. However, MREs offer one full meal, instead of one to three servings of one food item.
At bare minimum, an MRE stored in an 80 degree Fahrenheit environment should last at least three whole years. However, keeping it in a cooler place such as a pantry or backpack allows them to last even longer. MREs stored in a cool, dry and dark place have been reported to be perfectly edible even after fifteen years, though these MREs were almost assuredly stored under ideal conditions.
Storage conditions are the major reason MREs had a reputation for being unreliable. For a number of years, the only MREs you could get on the civilian market were from active duty or former U.S. military employees. Sometimes these would be left over from a recent camping trip and were purchased at the PX less than a month ago. Other times, these MREs may have been kept in 120 degree desert climates for several months straight.
With civilian MREs, this worry goes out the window. You know when you buy MREs online or in a survival goods shop you’re buying fresh.
Under all conditions, an MRE will maintain its flavor until the very end of its shelf life. Indeed, many people eating fifteen year old MREs have reported that the flavor was good enough to eat even after all the time that had passed since the meal was manufactured.
What Kind of Nutrition is in an MRE?
MREs were originally designed to ensure that military forces could continue their work even under heavy, physically grueling conditions. That’s to say nothing of how many calories are burnt in a genuine combat situation. Civilian MREs aren’t quite so filled with nutrients and calories, but given as most civilians rarely find themselves in genuine combat situations, it’s hardly surprising that civilian MREs aren’t the same as military MREs.
Among other differences, civilian MREs have fewer calories than military MREs. In addition, even should you purchase MREs that do have the same calorie count it won’t be the same nutritional value. The U.S. Military keeps their MRE recipes top secret, so the best civilian MREs can do is approximate those cooking techniques.
However, a major part of the appeal of MREs is their calorie count. Most MREs start at around 500 calories a piece for the lightest meals, typically intended for snacking. The heavy duty stuff tends to clock in around 2,000 calories, enough calories for an entire day in a typical lifestyle. Exactly how many calories your MREs need depends on the kind of exercise you’ll be getting.
A simple weekend camping trip for leisure may not require something as calorie dense as an MRE. While these weekend trips are loads of fun and wonderful exercise, it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself in a situation where every last calorie counts. In that case, there are lighter civilian MREs or self-heating meals from Omeals. Since they keep so well and come in pouches, they’re easy to carry and you won’t have to cook.
On the other hand, if you’re traveling under more difficult conditions such as heavy snow or rain then you’ll want something heavy duty. Even if conditions aren’t difficult, you may be carrying a heavy amount of equipment. This is often the case with many hunters, lumberjacks, film makers or just people who want to ensure they have enough beverages for a good wilderness party.
You may be expecting to do labor a lot heavier than just walking with one’s pack, as well. Only you know your plans. But if you do have heavier plans, it will probably require a heavier intake of calories. Depending on the exact circumstances, meals of 1,000 calories may be more than justified, though meals of around 2,000 calories are not recommended except under the most dire circumstances.
So How Many Calories Do I Need?
The calories a traveler needs will vary depending on how much they exercise out on the trail. Hiking for an hour typically burns between 400 and 600 calories depending on weight. This generally means that a bag filled with lighter MREs or even just calorie dense groceries will probably do the trick.
MREs of around 500 to 800 calories will likely suffice if one is certain they’ll be hiking for a long period of time. Hiking through snow can probably call for MREs that contain between 300 and 500 calories more than that.
Carrying extra weight can also be a factor in how heavy an MRE you need. It’s nearly impossible to create a universal formula for how many calories a specific endeavour will call for. As such, a broad generalisations may be helpful. Carrying a noticeable amount of weight will burn between 100 and 200 calories for every half hour (again depending on the individual person’s weight), meaning that one will likely need extra calories to carry all their gear.
As a rough estimate, an additional 800 to 1,000 calories may be called for if one is going to be undergoing heavy labor while traveling.
Lastly, if you’re going to be traveling for a long period of time then it may be appropriate to get the 3000+ calorie MREs. These are generally designed to be eaten throughout the day rather than an individual meal. They’re great for traveling light.
Meals ready to eat or MREs as they are more commonly referred to, are a self-contained meal that is in its own packaging. These were originally designed by the United States military to feed our troops when they were deployed.
They were given to service men and women who were in combat zones, or in other field regions where regular cooking or food facilities weren’t available.
It was quickly discovered that having a hot meal at the ready can lift a soldier’s spirits and enhance their performance. A hot meal is vital to keeping their morale high and helping them to be able to maintain their stamina.
MREs are packaged with flameless heaters that can heat the meals quickly and efficiently so that the soldiers are able to eat a healthy hot meal out in the field regardless of where they’re at. Here is some of the history of the MREs and how they came to be.
As far back as the civil war soldiers were in need of meals. However, the meals served back then came in the form of rations that would include most of the following (these would vary by region):
- 20 ounces of salt pork or beef
- 12 ounces of Hardtack (this is bread)
- 1 ounce of compressed cubes of vegetables mixed
And, every 100 rations, the soldiers would also receive the following:
- 8 quarts of peas or beans
- 10 pounds of rice
- 10 pounds of coffee beans
- 10 pounds of sugar
- 2 quarts of salt
- and one gallon of vinegar
World War I
In World War I, the food was considered a precious resource and there were strict measures to ensure that food wasn’t ever wasted. The Army conducted a survey and showed that troops were getting too much food. So they reduced the rations and packed them into smaller more efficient sizes. These were easier for troops to pack around and carry.
1941 to 1946
During this timeframe, the military would conduct many surveys that would total over 30 to determine the best course of action for health and nutrition. The military then began introducing different rations. These would go by K rations (which were breakfast), D rations (which were chocolate) and C rations (which were lunches and dinners). All of these meals would be pre-cooked and they were very easy for soldiers to eat on the go and take with them. Unfortunately, they were very bulky and rather noisy.
The next round was in the 1950s
At this time, the military introduced Military Combat Individuals or MCIs. In spite of their new moniker, they were still called C rations as they were so similar in consistency. They resembled the C rations in all aspects. Although they had a wide array of items and a better daily nutritional value, the military phased them out in favor of the soon to be MREs.
The first MREs were developed and adopted by the Department of Defense. By the year 1978, the military began developing these in earnest and by 1981 they were delivering them on a full scale.
MREs quickly replaced the C rations as they were easy to take along. They were lightweight and portable and they quickly replaced the bulky cans that were formerly used. They were convenient in a metalized bag that allowed them to stay fresh and they could be prepared quickly and eaten without heating them up.
By 1983 the government did a field evaluation on the 25th infantry division. They evaluated these military personnel for 34 days. It was noted that they ate only MREs three times per day. While the troops were willing to eat this, they were only consuming approximately 60 percent of the calories.
In 1986, the government again ran the same tests with the same infantry for the same length of time. This time, they noted that soldiers were more willing to consume the MREs and accept them. However, based upon the test results, the government made several changes to the MREs starting in 1988.
At this time, nine of the 12 entrees were replaced with newer entrees. And the size was increased from 5 ounces to 8 ounces. They also added in some commercial candies to 4 of the menus. Hot sauce was also added to 4 menus and they added cold beverage bases to all of the 12 menus available.
Upon further field testing and a lot of feedback during Desert Storm, they made some more changes to the MREs and added in commercial freeze dried coffee crystals and replaced the mil-spec spray of dried coffee. They added the hot sauce to all 12 menus and wet pack fruit soon replaced the dehydrated fruits. They then added more commercial candy into 4 more of the meals for a total of 8 meals with candy.
During Desert Storm, it was found that MREs were eaten far longer than intended with the average person eating them for as long as 60 or more days. They were originally only intended for 10 days or less. Thus, they quickly added in some supplements for the troops. They added in a shelf stable bread and high-heat stable chocolate. That way, the chocolate wouldn’t melt out in the field. Flameless ration heaters or FRH were also added in so that troops could enjoy a hot meal.
Further studies were underway and a joint panel suggested replacing 2 of the menus each year so that they could improve the acceptability. Many of the entrees were changed and some of the other components such as dessert, beverages and the like were also changed.
At this point in time, they made three more changes. They added in commercial graphics as studies showed more consumption and acceptance when personnel saw the graphics. The components and packaging was made easier to open and the spoons were now biodegradable so that they were environmentally friendly.
At this point in time, they also began to review the effects of the available menus and added in more so that they could have more options. This allowed personnel to use the MREs for longer periods of time without becoming tired of the same food night after night.
Today, MREs are still the meal that our troops eat. However, great steps have been taken to improve the quality of the foods for our troops. Even campers and doomsday preppers now use MREs as part of their food source and the meals have greatly improved and are now able to be heated and have more varieties.
The term ‘solar storm’ seems like a contradiction, does it not? However, solar storms are geological forces that pose large threats to all items in their paths. In previous years, people did not have any method of measuring the effects of these types of storms. Fortunately, sensitive electronic devices are now able to help measure the destructive forms of these storms.
While the storms do not physically throw anything at the Earth, the UN does recognize a solar storm as an item that requires geographical concern. In fact, they have been noted as being as dangerous as orbital debris and asteroids. The one major feature that makes solar storms highly dangerous is that they are technically invisible.
What Is A Solar Storm Exactly?
Simply put, a solar storm occurs when the sun or a sunspot on the sun ‘burns’ out. The sunspot reforms as a giant gas cloud and the particles in this area will become charged associating with magnetic properties known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs. Once this cloud meets the magnetic field of the Earth, the result can be detrimental with physical communications being disrupted including power lines, radars, cell phones, telephone cables, and GPS receivers.
One of the most powerful types of solar storms is the X-class solar flare. This type of solar storm is one that is highly threatening to disruption of telecommunication on the Earth’s grid. Recently, an X-2 class solar flare – a solar flare that is twice as powerful as an X-1 class flare) erupted and damaged a telecommunication grid in the close area. This recent flare was one of the most substantially damaging flares experienced since the 19th of October, 2014.
What Types Of Solar Storms Have Been Experienced In Past Years?
According to records, the greatest solar storm experienced is the Carrington Event. This solar storm occurred in 1859 and was unidentified due to the lack of technological measures. Scientists indicate that the storm was an X-2 class and was twice as large as any other flare as recorded for the past 500 years.
If we quickly fast-forward to today when we have technology to assist with identification and measuring of solar storms.
A solar storm was experienced in 1989 in Canada and New Jersey. The flare affected approximately 6 million people through the damage of the Hydro Quebec electric power transmission generating station.
In 2000, satellites were short-circuited by an X-5 class solar flare on Bastille Day. The flare resulted in radio blackouts. It was shortly followed by an X-28 class storm in 2003, which is recorded as being the strongest solar flare ever experienced. This flare in 2003 disrupted the spacecraft sensor used to measure its effect; therefore, the extent of its overall impact is unknown.
In 2006, a solar flare disrupted the satellite-to-ground communications within the NASA communication system. It negatively affects NASA’s global positioning system and disrupted the navigation signals for a recorded ten minutes.
Two years later, the most powerful solar flare was narrowly avoided. It was seen that Earth was only one week out of the line of fire.
What Damage Could Occur In The Future?
As the sun moves through its 11-year activity cycle, it is possible that more powerful solar storms could be experienced by the Earth. The impact of these flares can include rerouting of airplane flights resulting in damage to GPS systems and oil drill heads going haywire. Energy transformers could be damaged and power grids disrupted.
The smaller scale results of a solar flare could include disruption of communication systems and any items that require GPS for control. However, imagine all these items being non-functional at the same time – chaos. So are you ready?
MRE’s were originally created for military use and most commonly are thought useful for emergencies or field rations for soldiers. While that was the intent for their creation, you’ll likely find it surprising how innovative civilians are putting them to use.
It is not difficult to understand how or why many would find other uses for these easily portable meals that remain unspoiled under rugged conditions. These hot meals contain nutrition and significant amounts of calories all in an easily carried pack. After reading further, many of you will certainly rethink the value and usefulness of these type of portable meals.
1. MRE’s For Outdoor Activities Like Hiking And Climbing
For at least a few decades the most common food brought along with professional climbers and hikers were energy bars, a couple of salty snacks and maybe some sports drinks with electrolytes. These are portable and they can supply added energy needed for the outdoor athlete.
If you are burning calories at a high rate and your hike or climb is significant, it is very possible that the energy bars and snacks are simply not enough to replace the tremendous amounts of calories you are burning. A study done by a prestigious University demonstrated that rock climbing burns calories at a similar rate as running a 10-minute mile, and depending on the height of the climb may result in a comparison of several miles at that speed.
It was easily recognized that a meal with more nutrition and calories would result in an increase in performance, so some athletes changed from granola to MRE’s. Many athletes concluded that since the military had already found that these food packs could increase the ability of soldiers to go farther and fight harder because their bodies were better fueled with nutrition and calories, then it makes sense it would do the same for athletes hiking the backcountry.
2. MRE’s Used For Field Work For A Paleontologist
These food packs are sealed to protect them against pests, they are impact resistant and waterproof. Those facts were said to make them ideal for field work according to Thomas Lang, a leading Paleontologist.
Mr. Lang finds himself and his staff working in field conditions that make the use of MRE’s a highly useful source of nutrition and energy. His search for nannoplankton takes him to places where bringing lots of regular food would prove difficult.
The Cretaceous period saw a great rise and fall in sea levels and this lead to the death of algae. The nannofossils have proven to have a great shelf life.
Mr. Langs expeditions are fueled by these food packs.
3. MRE’s For Car Emergencies Such As Traffic Jams
While preppers preparing for the end of the world might think of stacking a lot of MRE’s in their basement on the chance the unthinkable happens, most wouldn’t think of keeping them in the car for emergencies. The fact is the more and more cities are experiencing routine traffic jams that can keep drivers stuck for hours at a time. Congestion, car accidents and unpredictable weather are all causes of these car jams.
What do you do in such a situation? You can’t leave your car, and yet you could be stuck in one place for hours on end. These situations are often very stressful and many find that hungry combined with stress can cause irrational anger and reduce your ability to rationalize.
One driver who typically has a daily commute that last 2 to 3 hours says he keeps MRE’s in the car for such occasions. This driver expressed that the breakfast entree was especially good for him when stuck in early morning traffic.
It is unlikely that MRE’s could stop road rage, but they are certainly something you’ll be glad you have should you find yourself hungry while stuck in traffic for hours.